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Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I've long said that there are two classes prescribers are not required to take: Writing 101 and Math.

Quote of the week: "I'm going to allow you to do that math."

When I was a teen, I was allowed to borrow the car.
When I turned 21, I was allowed to purchase alcohol.
When I passed the boards, I was allowed to practice pharmacy.

However, I've never been in a situation where it was necessary to receive permission to do math. So it was with the voicemail I received.

Mary-At-The-Hospital-Lets-Everyone-Solve-Summations: Prescriber wants 12.5 ml twice a day for 10 days and..."I'm going to allow you to do that math".

I really wanted to call back MATHLESS and thank her for permitting me to do calculations, especially those required to complete her prescription. To me it shows a lack of preparedness.
YOU are the one phoning in the prescription.
YOU are the one holding all the information.
YOU are the one that knew you were going to call me.
Be Prepared!

It's like going to the grocery without a list.
Or ordering a pizza for 10 people without asking their preferences before calling.

I don't know what I would have done had I not received her permission to do the math.
CP: I am sorry ma'am, but I am not allowed to calculate a quantity on your daughter's prescription and the prescriber was unavailable to verify it for me.
Mom: But it's really easy. It's 250ml.
CP: I believe you. But the prescriber did not expressly permit me to do the math.

Nah. #WeArePharmacy. We specialise in fixing prescribers' errors. Here you go!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

If the Real World Worked...

Let's focus this story solely at a pickup location, the terminus of all transactions. Whether it's the pharmacy or a pizza place, once something is ready, you cannot change the order without consequences. In this case, the result is a longer wait. You have altered the terms of our interaction. Sometimes I feel like Lando facing Vader. "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Picking Up Something-Extra: I am here to pick up my pizza.
CP: Name?
CP: Got it. I have 2 large pepperonis, an order of BBQ Wings, and a 2-litre. Is that correct?
PUS-E: Yes. Yes it is. It's exactly what I ordered.
CP: Okay. The total is $22.49.
PUS-E: What about the garlic bread?
CP: What garlic bread?
PUS-E: I was supposed to have garlic bread. It's part of your meal deal coupon. I have it here.
CP: Did you tell us you had a coupon for a meal deal?
PUS-E: No.
CP: Did you ask for the meal deal?
PUS-E: No.
CP: Did you ask for garlic bread?
PUS-E: No.
CP: When I read you the order mere seconds ago, and you said "exactly", were you being facetious or just dim?
PUS-E: Huh? I want garlic bread and to use my coupon.
CP: Okay. We will fire up some garlic bread for you. It'll be another 15 minutes to get it ready.
PUS-E: But the game starts in 5 minutes.
CP: I know. I was hoping to listen to it on the radio. We've had orders coming in all night. Just ask all the people behind you who also wish to make it home in time for kickoff.
PUS-E: Your machine told me my order would be ready at 7:45. It's 7:47 and now I have to wait another 15 minutes? This is ridiculous.
CP: It was ready at 7:45. You've been arguing with me for 2 minutes trying to change your order. You are welcome to take your already-completed order, minus the bread of garlic, and hie thee home, tarrying not.
PUS-E: What about my breaded garlic?
CP: Your original order, as originally placed, is complete and ready, in its entirety, for you to take home and slam down your gullet whilst cheering on your favourite club. This transaction could have been completed minutes ago had you not altered the terms of our deal.
PUS-E: Well how much longer now?
CP: It's still 15 minutes.
PUS-E: What? Why?
CP: You've been arguing with me for 5 minutes now. I've had no time to walk away and place your order; an order you've yet to assent to me making.
PUS-E: I'll wait for it. But it's all your fault if I miss kickoff and if my food is cold and...
CP: Yeah yeah yeah. I get it. Next!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Conversation About Nothing

Irritating Male Patient Adds Lots Extra: Did my doctor call in my prescription? 
CP: Yes. 
IMPALE: Was it Amlodipine? 
CP: Yes. 
IMPALE: Is it ready? 
CP: Yes. 
IMPALE: How much is it? 
CP: $0.00. 
Now, this should have been the end of the conversation. All of the finer, important points had been established and there is nothing else I can provide. As you can guess, there is much much more to this story, unfortunately...
IMPALE: Here's what happened: My doctor, well, really, my nurse practitioner, took a sabbatical and isn't in the office and my old mail order company closed so I needed a new prescription and someone else in the office had to send it in on his behalf to the new company and they sent my other 3 prescriptions there but somehow forgot this one and since the company changed I was afraid I'd run out with the holiday and all so I had them call it in to you. 
CP: Ok. You do know you can get it for the same $0 copay here without dealing with holiday issues such as this, right? 
IMPALE: Yeah, but I prefer mail order. They've always been so convenient for me. 
CP: Except today, on the Holiday weekend. 
IMPALE: Well...
CP: Today is Saturday and we are open until 7 tonight. When would you like to come in for your ever-such-an-emergency prescription that has been here since Friday? 
IMPALE: Oh, I should be there some time on Tuesday. 
CP: Thank you for using mail order. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How Pharmacy is Like the Movies

Dirty Harry-Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?
Keep rushing me and I'll give you exactly what the prescriber ordered, errors and all.

Seven-What's in the box?
All we do is slap a label on it. Who cares what's actually in it. Here you go.


Forrest Gump- Life is like a box of chocolates.
We'll just grab it (something random) off the shelf and hand it over. You never know what you're going to get.

Poltergeist-They're here.
Opening time, and first of the month, and Mondays.

Minions- Reading a prescription is like trying to decipher their dialogue.

Saw-Want to play a game.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Best/Worst Pharmacy Pickup Lines

1. They call me Zyrtec because my D lasts for 12 hours and keeps you up all night.
2. Pharmacists always carefully follow directions. We take the time to unwrap before we insert. 
3. They call me Nystatin because you have to swish before you swallow. 
4. You're so sexy they had to name a birth control after you ... Camilla (insert pretty much any name here: Heather, Yasmin, Errin.)

You must be a box of pen needles, because you are ultra-fine. 
And don't forget the comeback: I may be Ultra-Fine, but you didn't tell me you too were like a box of pen needles, Mr. Nano (or Mr. Micro-Fine). 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


"In this day and age, a man has to have choices. A man has to have a little bit of variety."
"What are you talking about 'variety'? Hostages?"

No. Not hostages. But we do have a lot of options today. We all make hundreds of decisions every day. Most of them are minor, but some have a significant impact on our life. Such as which pharmacy to patronize. Last I checked, we all have free will in this country. I can choose to eat or not eat at certain restaurants. I can choose where to spend my hard-earned dollars. I can be loyal to whomever I choose.

The problem with free will is that people often forget to exercise it. I know many don't exercise anything, but the freedom of choice really doesn't require that much work. If you love a business, shop there frequently. If you hate it, why do you continue to go there?

"Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

When your doctor asks (and on electronic prescriptions, it says) "Patient's Pharmacy of Choice", remember that YOU picked ME.  It says Patient's Choice.  I did not force you to come to my pharmacy. You made the decision to turn into my parking lot, exit your vehicle, and enter my store. It's not like a dinner choice.  Hey, I'm in the mood for Thai tonight. Your selection, and repeat business, is not just a whim.

With that in mind, I am done with you.  If you are unhappy, leave. When people threaten to go somewhere else, I'll tell them "Go Ahead".  I will even ask where they want me to transfer their profile so it's waiting for them when they get there.

I'm tired of being held hostage by people who don't understand and refuse to understand how the whole refill/insurance/plan ahead thing works.  I'm tired of people thinking they can get something by complaining simply because of their own stupidity.

I am taking the Twitter approach to dealing with these people. Twitter is about choice.  You actually have to choose to follow someone.  If you do not like what they have say, you have the simple choice to "unfollow".  I'd like people to apply that to pharmacy choice as well.  I only wish we could "block" people too.



    • sleepy and lethargic; half asleep:the wine had made her drowsy
    • causing sleepiness:the drowsy heat of the meadows
    • (of a place) peaceful and quiet:a drowsy suburb called Surrey Hills
    • Sleepy:

      needing or ready for sleep:the wine had made her sleepy
    • showing the effects of sleep:she rubbed her sleepy eyes
    • inducing sleep; soporific:the sleepy heat of the afternoon
    • (of a place) without much activity:he turned off the road into a sleepy little town
    • (of a business or organization) lacking the ability or will to respond to change; not dynamic:the one-time sleepy world of pensions

Here's one for you from yesterday....

Guy comes up to my consultation window at the pharmacy yesterday with a bottle of store brand generic liquid sleep-aid (diphenhydramine). 

He asks: "Can this be used to help you sleep?" 
Me: "absolutely"
His next question: (wait for it.....) "but it won't make me drowsy will it?" 
Me: ....I stare blankly at him for a moment.... "Um, yes. That's kind of the point of it. To make you drowsy... so you can sleep..."
He just says: "oh" and walks off.

I used to believe people didn't understand the definitions of "drowsy" and "sleepy". I'm not "bashful" about it making me "happy" to think of them as "dopey" when they call me "doc" and I tell them not to be "grumpy" with me. They'll no longer be "sneezy" either. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


I've often questioned what type of brainwashing academy seemingly sane pharmacists are sent to before graduating to the rank of district manager.
I'm pretty sure the curriculum includes:
How to send emails.
How to forward emails.
How to pass the buck to other people.
How to cut hours.
How to email pharmacists to cut hours.
How to email reminders about cutting hours.
How to check a pharmacy for policy compliance.
How not to give praise or compliments.

Is being a bad boss an innate quality corporations seek or is it carefully crafted, honed in a lab?

CP: Welcome to my pharmacy. It's been a while.
DM Out-Of-Touch: Uh-huh. <never makes eye contact>
CP: What brings you to our lovely establishment?
DMOOT: <walks to CII safes, checks they are locked, spins dials> Huh? Regular tour.
CP: Got it.
DMOOT: <suddenly aware of something amiss, she jumps up, looks around like a prairie dog scouting for predators> "Where is everyone?"
CP: To whom are you referring?
DMOOT: Employees. It's just you and one tech? <face twitches like a coked out squirrel>
CP: Yes. Just the two of us. We can make it if we try, just the two of us.
DMOOT: Huh. Okay.
CP: You cut our hours last month, remember?
DMOOT: Oh. Okay.
CP: No. It's not okay. Are you seriously that out of touch that you just asked us where the employees are after cutting our budget last month? That has got to be the most absent-minded, arrogant thing I've ever heard spoken by a boss.
DMOOT: You're queues look good. Keep up the good work.
CP: So maybe you have room to cut more hours? Oh, feel free to not answer the phone ringing off the hook while you're boasting about cutting hours.
DMOOT: You need to focus on customer service. You seem to have slipped in the "timeliness" and "wait time" categories.
CP: You're pretty slow, aren't you? Were you dropped on your head as a child? Picked on as the girl with the smallest breasts in the high school locker room? I see they're still waiting to develop, like your observation and leadership skills.
DMOOT: If your scores don't improve, we're going to have to make some leadership changes in this store, starting with you.
CP: That's pretty small-breasted, I mean, -minded of you. You cut hours, scores go down, and it's my fault?
DMOOT: You're in charge of the pharmacy. It's your job to deal with it.
CP: Do you like KMFDM?
DMOOT: Never heard of it.
CP: Them. They're a "them". A band.
CP: Check out the song "Free Your Hate". It's right up your alley.